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The THUMP Guide to Absolutely Smashing a Boat Party

Here's how to stay afloat.

Ah, the humble boat party. A thing of pure elegance and refined beauty. Bobbing about in the sea, pressed against a intimately sweaty, sweatily intimate crowd, listening to DJs who usually play gigs 20 times the size run through some of the finest party tunes whatever ocean you're on at the time has ever heard. I've managed to go to a few fine ones over the summer months, but none was more finer than the Feelings boat party featuring Mood II Swing at the latest and greatest Dimensions Festival.


When it came to ensuring that the floating punters had the time of their life, everyone involved in the party ran a very tight ship. Sorry. Honestly. I'm really sorry.

But not as sorry as you'll be if you don't take the following guide to getting the most you can out of drinking cocktails on a boat on the blazing sun while standing close enough to a world class DJ that their Piz Buin drips all over as seriously as you should. Here's how to do nautical naughtiness properly.

1. Make Sure You're on a Boat with Great Music

All the fantastic following photos are by by Leave No Trace.

Ahoy there! It be Mood II Swing, playing some of the finest cuts of smooth house grooves over a thumping system. It's always important to remember that although for some reason getting mashed on a boat is always more fun than doing the same thing on land, the real reason you've stepped aboard is to listen to the music. And, happily, boat parties always seem to bring out the best in DJs. Maybe it's the intimacy of it all, or maybe it's just that the salt in the air's leading to acute seasickness and they've gone all weird and superhuman as a result. Either way, you'll rarely see a bed set on a boat. So, before you chug down that seventh can of Mythos in the space of an hour, don't forget to the listen to the music.

2. Join in…with Everything

Yes, it's true, I did say in the last paragraph that it is important to focus on the music of any given boat party. But did I also mention that music is a great thing to dance and generally act like a wacky dickhead to? Well if I didn't I'm sorry, because music, especially dance music, is a really great thing to dance and generally act like a wacky dickhead to. On boat parties you'll get more than your fair share of opportunities to do this because for some reason all the punters go absolutely mental the minute they set sail. Here I am, doing one of many terrible limbo attempts, which as everyone knows is the pinnacle of wackiness available to humanity. Also please take note, it's very important to wear a jaunty hat. Mine said 'CROATIA' on the front with a tag at the back that I left on that says 'I LOVE CROATIA' because A) leaving tags on hats is cool apparently and B) I LOVE CROATIA.


3. Don't Forget to Drink

OK, fair play. You got me. I've been rumbled. Getting completely off your trolley on a boat party is also pretty much an essential component of the whole experience. Again, once people are sailing around on some water they seem to not really give a shit about things like 'health' and 'safety' so the partying vibe gets ramped up to the maximum, and you must take advantage of this as much as possible. Here you can see one half of the Menendez Brother's, Eniz, dousing some rabid party goer in a stream of pure vodka. This was only one of the many treats the lads threw out to the crowd over the course of the four hour journey so take note, if you want to have a really great time, probably best to get to the get starboard ASAP for maximum chances of fun.

4. Tell the DJs How Great they Are

Another great leveller of the boat party is that because they're so small, the DJ's can literally not find the room to avoid you if you want to talk to them. Usually they are protected by a terracotta army of hi-vis vests and beefy bouncers, but once you get on board it's just you, some booze and 200 other people. Your favourite DJ's cannot hide, they cannot escape. They simply must listen to you loudly tell them how great they are.

5. Try and Talk to Members of the Opposite Sex

Sure, you may have two cans of cider in one hand, a jaunty hat on and be pretty badly sunburnt, but damn those girls on the lower deck sure look attractive and generally up for a laugh! Why not go try and talk to them? I mean, ure, they may not actually want to talk to you and reject your advances in quite plain and unflinching terms, pretty much cutting your confidence to ribbons in front of all your mates, but you're on a fucking BOAT dude! Once it docks at the beach all of life is reset and everything is forgotten and goes back to normal. Except your confidence. And ability to talk to the opposite sex. And the sunburn.


6. Make Some New Friends

Being confined with a bunch of wild-eyed party-goers for four hours on a sailing whirling dervish of partying might seem like not the best place to find new pals and chums, but, guys, get this: it totally is! I managed to instantly bond with this guy who, even in 32 degree heat was still committed to wearing a full gold hoody complete with black leather trousers and matching gold high tops. If that's not someone you want to hang around with on a boat then I don't know who is!

7. Have a Laugh!

This is a very important part of the boat party vibe and to be honest, it's not bloody hard when you've got beaming sunshine, a constant supply of booze and great tunes. Us English will always find a way of being miserable cunts, but why not, just for the small amount of time you're on a floating paradise type thing, just actually appreciate the good times and have a laugh with your mates? You'll feel a lot better about yourself, I promise. Look at my face! That's Pure Unadulterated Magic!

8. Finish off by Doing a Big Group Shot Where You All Go 'Wahey!' with All the Mates You Just Made so You Can Remember What a Great Time You Had

I mean, how will you know you've just had one of the best times of your life if you don't make loads of random people you've just met all do zany poses with you so you can prove to everyone on your social media feeds that you are a really cool party dude and know a lot of cool people? You can't know, unless you do the traditional English 'giant group photo at the end where everyone goes 'WAHEY'. And this is my take on that particular classic. Now that's how you boat party my dudes!

Tom Usher is on Twitter